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Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way

Humanity United and Ashoka’s Changemakers are launching a global online competition to identify innovative approaches to exposing, confronting and ending modern-day slavery.

Today over 27 million children and adults are in slavery or bonded labor around the world—more than any other period in human history. As one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, slavery remains largely hidden from the public eye and thrives on the rising global demand for inexpensive, unskilled labor and commercial sex.

Ending Global Slavery: Everyday Heroes Leading the Way aims to find holistic solutions to modern-day slavery by recognizing individuals and organizations that raise awareness of the issue’s root causes, liberate those in bonded labor, and reintegrate former slaves into their communities.

The competition is hosted on Funding will be awarded for the most innovative policy-level and grassroots models.


Real Heroes Awards

Last year I visited the CCD Muktaneer Home for boys in Calcutta, run by Mr. Swapan Mukherjee. The home is for boys who have been brought out of child labor or trafficking – you can read my story about it here.

Mr. Mukherjee has just been awarded the Real Heroes Award for his work for women and children welfare! Swapan runs a home for destitute children. The home has about 40 kids. Apart from taking care of their basic needs, he even teaches them filmmaking, and their efforts have won several international awards, including the Australian International Film Festival for which several of the boys got to travel to Sydney and attend their award ceremony!

CNN-IBNIndia’s Best News Channel in partnership with Reliance Industries LimitedIndia’s Largest Corporation has instituted ‘Real Heroes’ – in an effort to honour the unsung heroes of our nation.

Real Heroes is about people like you, ordinary humans who have done extraordinary things and who have gone beyond the realm of personal well being to work for the well being of others in our country. Real Heroes have contributed to our country in their own ways, working quietly, away from the arc light.  We salute the unsung heroes of Independent India like you without whose silent and selfless contribution India could never have been called the land of dharma!

The award panel identified 24 ‘Real Heroes’ across india from the four zones from the fields of Education, Environment, Healthcare, Rural Development, Sports, Social Welfare, Women & Child Welfare and Wildlife Conservation.

Mr. Mukherjee was presented with the award at a large ceremony in Mumbai on April 14, 2008. You can view a video of the awards here.

Congratulations, Swapan!

If you are interested in watching the latest award-winning film by the boys of CCD, called We See, you can view it here on Culture Unplugged’s Film Festival 2008 site. Culture Unplugged Studios website states: “We are committed to contemplate and contribute to our personal as well as collective spiritual need of the time. Our focus is on the inner+inter- cultural expression. We intend to create & bring indie content presenting human stories of current times, to audiences worldwide. Culture Unplugged Studios is inspired by the spirit of an independent institution whose aim is to work toward unity & harmony through all kinds of man-made division.”

We See is a touching film about children’s rights made by a 13 year old filmmaker. The film explores the issue of child exploitation throughout the world and offers a positive vision for our future. This film is created, directed and acted by children at the Muktaneer Boys’ Shelter in Kolkata, India.